Handbook of Research on E-Learning Methodologies for Language Acquisition

Handbook of Research on E-Learning Methodologies for Language Acquisition

Rita de Cássia Veiga Marriott (University of Birmingham, UK) and Patricia Lupion Torres (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brazil)
Indexed In: SCOPUS View 1 More Indices
Release Date: July, 2008|Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 646
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-994-6
ISBN13: 9781599049946|ISBN10: 1599049945|EISBN13: 9781599049953
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Description & Coverage

Throughout the decades, a wide variety of methodologies and approaches to the teaching of languages have developed. In the current, technology driven environment, demand is high for new tools and student-centered collaborative learning approaches to promote students' language and communicative skills.

The Handbook of Research on E-Learning Methodologies for Language Acquisition contributes over 50 authoritative research studies planning e-learning theory, pedagogy, methodologies and approaches developed and implemented by prominent international authors. An essential addition to the reference collection of any academic library, this commanding Handbook of Research will foster professional discussion and progress among researchers, practitioners, and educators in this rapidly developing field.


The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Avatars
  • CALL
  • Concept mapping
  • Corpus Linguistics
  • Cross-Cultural Communication
  • E-Learning
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Language Acquisition
  • Language Learning
  • Language Teaching
  • Mobile Technologies
  • MOOs
  • Online Learning
  • Virtual Learning Environments
  • Virtual Worlds
Reviews and Testimonials

This handbook gathers research on innovative theoretical and practical approaches to language learning and teaching in the area of CALL, using current available teaching resources for F2F, distance and hybrid courses.

– Rita de Cássia Veiga Marriott, Pontifical Catholic University of Brazil, Brazil

The text aims to contribute to the education of language students, novice teachers, academics, and researchers who want to keep up-to-date on current developments.

– Book News Inc. (Nov. 2008)
Table of Contents
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Editor Biographies
Rita de Cássia Veiga Marriott BA, MEd, is a member of the academic staff in the Department of Hispanic Studies and at the Centre for Modern Languages at the University of Birmingham UK, where she is a Portuguese Language Tutor. She has lectured at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUCPR) and at Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR) in Brazil in subjects including EFL, ESP, Collaborative Learning Online, Translation Studies, New Technologies in Education in the Department of Languages and the Department of Education at graduate and post-graduate levels and has also given Teacher Training Courses related to Computer Assisted Language Learning at CELIN (UFPR’s Language Centre). She has participated in several projects involving e-learning and CALL and has been a member of the research group on Education, Communication and Technology at PUCPR since 2004. She is a founder-member of Braz-TESOL (1983), and since 1986 she has presented papers at various events nationally and internationally. Her research interests include language teaching, learning and acquisition, CALL, e-learning, new technologies in Education and the use of concept maps for language learning/teaching, and she has published in several of these areas including a book, chapters in books, articles in Journals and conference contributions. She is currently a doctoral student in E-Learning and Language Acquisition in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham UK.
Patricia Lupion Torres has been a professor at PUCPR (Pontifical Catholic University of Parana/Brazil) since 1982. She was Head of the Education Department from 1994 to 1998 and again from 2003 to 2005. She was the coordinator of Research and Assessment of the Distance Learning Department from 2002 to 2003. She was also a lecturer at UFSC (Federal University of Santa Catarina/Brazil) on the Media and Knowledge Masters Course from 1999 to 2002. A Pedagogue, she is a Specialist in Psycho-pedagogy and in Sociological Theories and has a Master in Education from PUCPR. She took her doctorate on Media and Knowledge at UFSC. She was on the Board of Directors of PUCWEB from 2003 to 2005. She is currently the Pedagogical Coordinator of the National Service on Rural Learning – SENAR-PR. She manages projects on the use of virtual learning environments for distance learning in Higher Education, teaches the Masters and Doctorate in Education Courses at PUCPR whilst is the Director of Distance Learning at the same institution.
Editorial Review Board
  • Clarissa Menezes Jordão, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil
  • Felicia Zhang, University of Canberra, Australia
  • Gavin Dudeney, The Consultants-E, Spain
  • Jacques Viens, FSE, Université de Montréal, Canada
  • Jeannette Littlemore, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Panayiotis Zaphiris, City University London, UK
  • Peppi Taalas, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Piet Kommers, University of Twente, The Netherlands
  • Steve Mann, University of Warwick, UK
  • Terry T. Kidd, University of Texas, USA
  • Vera Menezes, Brazil

    List of Reviewers

  • Adail Sebastiao Rodrigues Junior, Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Ouro Preto, Brazil
  • Ademilde Silveira Sartori, Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina (UDESC), Florianópolis, Brazil
  • Alejandro Martins, Sociedade Educacional de Santa Catarina (SOCIESC), Brazil
  • Ana Maria Carneiro Costa Silva, Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal
  • Astrid Gesche, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
  • Beatriz Regina Tavares Franciosi, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Betty Rose Facer, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, USA
  • Bryan Carter, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, USA
  • Christine Rosalia, New York University, New York, USA
  • Edemilson Jorge Ramos Brandão, Universidade de Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
  • Euline Schmid, University of Education Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
  • Fabricio Ricardo Lazilha, Centro Universitario de Maringa (CESUMAR), Brazil
  • Gerson Pastre de Oliveira, Faculdade de Tecnologia de Jundiaí (FATEC), Brazil
  • Irene Mamakou, University of Peloponnese, Tripolis, Greece
  • Janae Gonçalves Martins, Sociedade Educacional de Santa Catarina (SOCIESC), Brazil
  • Jenifer Prettyman, Matthew Bolton College, Birmingham, UK
  • Jing Wang, Allegheny College, Meadville, USA
  • Kevin Wilkinson, Anglia Ruskin University, UK
  • Lorena Llosa, New York University, New York, USA
  • Lucia Izabel Czerwonka Sermann, Centro Universitário Franciscano do Paraná (UNIFAE), Curitiba, Brazil
  • Mahieddine Djoudi, University of Poitiers, Poitiers, France
  • Malinee Prapinwong, Indiana University Bloomington, USA
  • Mar Gutiérrez-Colon, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Italy
  • Marcus Vinicius Santos Kucharski - Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brazil
  • Margareth Murphy, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
  • Mauro José Kummer, Pontificia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUCPR), Curitiba, Brazil
  • Renata Chylinski, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
  • Ria Hanewald, LaTrobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
  • Robert Zheng, University of Utah, USA
  • Rosângela Schwarz Rodrigues, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil
  • Sarah Guth, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
  • Snea Thinsan, Indiana University Bloomington, USA
  • Victoria Russell, The University of South Florida, Tampa, USA
  • Xiaotian Guo, New Vision Language Centre, Birmingham, UK
  • Yasunori Nishina, University of Birmingham, UK
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    Language teaching has seen the development of a variety of methodologies and approaches over the past decades. These have included the grammar-translation method, the total physical response method, the silent way, and the communicative approach. These practices have involved the use of a range of tools including the cassette player, the VCR and DVD players and have concentrated on the development of language skills, grammar, vocabulary and communicative competence. They have also, in the main, relied upon teachers and course books as the principal source of information and guidance.

    After the birth of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) in the late 1970’s, foreign language teaching and learning saw the introduction of the use of micro and networked computers and the development of hardware and software designed specifically for language instruction. Since the end of the 1990’s, with the popularisation of synchronous and asynchronous communications and of the Internet, a number of CALL research papers and projects have focused on the use of e-mail for language teaching, and the establishment of cross-cultural communication activities (Chapelle, 2001).

    More recently, CALL methodologies have gone a step further, this time to embrace not only the new technology, but also methodologies and approaches brought about by the use of the Internet and virtual learning environments. These take into consideration the needs and interests of both students and institutions within the context of a technological and democratic society.

    It was in this context that the idea for putting together a publication germinated. The initial thoughts of organising this book stem from several research projects carried out by the editors on computer mediated learning. From the first investigations, Marriott and Torres sought to propose methodologies that would develop a student’s critical sense; methodologies that would overcome the more traditional teaching methods centred in the reproduction of content. They were also looking for innovative solutions using information and communication technologies, aiming to give support to their own methodological proposals.

    In 2004, Marriott created The Language Learning Lab - LAPLI (Laboratório de APrendizagem de LInguas). LAPLI is a hybrid (50% face-to-face [F2F] and 50% distance learning) methodology for intermediate and advanced language learning students, developed in a collaborative virtual learning environment (VLE). Involved in its 12 activities, students research on topics of their own interest associated to linguistics or education and select authentic material from trustworthy sources online, saving them in the VLE for all to access and work on. They work at word, paragraph and text level, and are involved in several activities such as concept mapping , questioning and answering, creating grammar exercises, developing summaries, reviews, articles and PowerPoint presentations. Learners work individually, interactively and collaboratively amongst themselves and in small groups formed according to shared interests or involvement in the activities. LAPLI’s activities are designed to challenge students to go beyond their limitations whilst developing their fluency and accuracy in reading, writing and oral skills. LAPLI is based on Torres’ distance learning methodology LOLA - The Online Learning Lab (Laboratório Online de Aprendizagem) created in 2002. Both LAPLI and LOLA are based on constructivist, collaborative and meaningful learning approaches, placing the students in the centre of the process, developing their autonomy, responsibility and social skills.

    Following the development and evaluation of these proposals, several new research projects have been undertaken, and this has led to an increase in the number of publications in this area. It was in the light of these new investigations that the idea of editing this publication took shape and the Handbook of Research on E-Learning Methodologies for Language Acquisition was conceived.

    First, let us explain what we mean by “e-learning", by “methodologies” and by “language acquisition”. “E-learning” is understood in its broadest sense of “explore[-ing] new approaches to learning supported by technologies” (HEFCE, 2005), involving the innovative use of information and communication technology (ICT) for F2F, hybrid and distance learning initiatives in order to be able to “transform learning and teaching”. (HEFCE, 2005) “Methodology” is perceived in its general meaning encompassing “approaches, methods, techniques, procedures and models” (Harmer, 2001, p. 78) within which theoretical and pedagogical approaches combine, supporting and guiding the use of the teaching resources available, and a set of procedures designed to achieve the expected learning outcomes is found. As for “language acquisition”, we understand this to mean “a natural developmental process of gaining knowledge and mastery of a speech system in a living environment” (Pham, 1984) whereas language learning, also covered in this publication, is “a largely conscious process that involves formal exposure to rules of syntax and semantics followed by specific applications of the rules, with corrective feedback reinforcing correct usage and discouraging incorrect usage.” (Felder & Henriques, 1995).

    Therefore, in this Handbook of Research on E-Learning Methodologies for Language Acquisition we gather research on innovative theoretical and practical approaches to language learning and teaching in the area of CALL, using current available teaching resources for F2F, distance and hybrid courses. The 33 chapters are written by 60 prominent, internationally known authors from all six continents of the world and cover both language learning and language acquisition as well as language teaching. They cover a variety of topics such as the use of Computer Mediated Communication, Web2.0, social software, mobile learning, virtual learning environments, e-gaming, mapping techniques, hyperlinked dictionaries, interactive whiteboards, corpus linguistics, learning objects, virtual reality environments and Podcasting. They report on research and studies focusing on the theory and methodologies for the learning, teaching and acquisition of languages online, fostering students’ foreign language competencies and communicative skills as well as their autonomy, responsibility and social skills.

    The Handbook of Research on E-Learning Methodologies for Language Acquisition covers the areas of pedagogy, methodology, assessment, the current and future challenges of online language learning and teaching. It is divided into three foundation areas under the E-Language Learning umbrella heading as follows: Section I: Theories, Tools and Pedagogical Resources; Section II: Developing Skills and Competencies; and Section III: Methodological Approaches and Future Tendencies. This publication aims to contribute to the education of language students, novice teachers, academics and researchers who not only wish to keep abreast of current developments but also want to introduce innovative methodologies and approaches into their own practice. It aims to promote insights into current e-learning practices and methodologies for language teaching, learning and acquisition, and to foster the development of both theoretical and practical issues concerning learning, skills development, interaction, communication, collaboration and evaluation of foreign/second language education online, encouraging professional discussion and progress in this fast developing field.

    Rita de Cássia Veiga Marriott e Patrícia Lupion Torres